Say hello to the new and improved, 21st century way to squeeze the proverbial blood from the turnip, courtesy of the people who sit around and think shit up or aka the transportation experts. So here’s the deal, you drive how far daily, weekly and monthly? Multiply that figure by the set tax amount agreed upon by the transportation experts (the think shit up people) and Voila` you have the annual figure you are expected to squeeze out of the previously untaxed orifice.
With gas-tax revenues plummeting, the state of North Carolina is looking seriously at taxing motorists for how far they drive.
If the “road-use tax” is implemented, it would at first be simple – with the state checking your odometer annually and taxing you based on how many miles you have driven. But transportation experts say new GPS technology could allow the state to charge people different rates based on when and where they drive, in an attempt to manage congestion.
Talk of a Vehicle Miles Traveled tax has long been discussed as a necessity in a decade or so, because cars are becoming more fuel efficient, and states and the federal government are losing gas-tax revenue.
But there is now a sense of urgency about the new VMT tax. When gas hit $4 a gallon this summer, Americans sharply curtailed their driving. And when the economy cratered this fall, the driving rollback continued, even when gas prices plummeted.
The 21st Century Transportation Committee suggested that, in addition to the gas tax, motorists pay a quarter-cent for each mile they drive, with the first 2,000 miles annually free. A motorist who drives 12,000 miles a year would pay $25 – possibly due when the driver gets the car inspected.
It’s unlikely that the NC General Assembly will add this to their agenda, moreover, the administration of a “VMT” tax is likely to be quite difficult and costly. How could the state justify or implement a costly travel taxation program? Other states as well as the federal government are considering road-use taxes. The gas tax is fundamentally tied to a fossil-fuel economy that many people would like to move away from. If North Carolina tries to move toward this type of movement taxation the state will finally be forced to examine mass transit options for the masses. I mean after all there are some places you can’t get to with a golf-cart or on horseback.